The government’s radical reforms in the educational sector is aimed at producing a critical mass of assertive and empowered Ghanaian students, equipped with the relevant skills for Ghana’s rapid socio-economic transformation, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has said.
The reforms, underpinned by a greater focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), is to reposition the entire educational system and prepare the country’s economy to fully participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution for national development.
Dr. Bawumia, who disclosed this on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at the launch of the 70th anniversary celebration of Tamale Senior High School, said the government’s vision of producing well-equipped, rounded Ghanaians would be of one of the most fundamental reforms to be carried out in the country’s school system.
He said the reformation is anchored on interventions that would leverage Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to prepare Ghanaians and the country’s economy to become active participants in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“The reason is simple: a strong national STEM programme will develop learners with 21st century skills (i.e., creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration) required to drive the country into economic prosperity beyond aid.”
The focus on STEM would begin at the basic level with a B-STEM (Basic STEM) programme “under which essential equipment, including robotics kits, electronics, computers, promethean boards, projectors, among others, would be provided.
In addition, the Ministry of Education is in the process of setting up 11 model, “never-before-seen STEM Senior High Schools across the country,” equipped with 12 laboratories that can rival any school anywhere in the world.
Vice President Bawumia said as part of the plan, a STEM pathway would be established in some existing Senior High Schools, “and Tamale Senior High School (TAMASCO) will be one of them.”
The Vice President said lessons had been learnt from the history of educational deprivation in northern Ghana, where the effects of lack of access to secondary education laid the foundation for the development gap between the north and the south.
He assured that the government was determined to provide access to every Ghanaian child wherever they were to create a level playing field and bridge the gap.
Dr Bawumia, who is a member of the 1980 Year Group of TAMASCO, commended politicians from the northern part of the country who recognised the importance of education and advocated, through the Northern People’s Party, for more access to education and significantly influenced the 1961 Education Act to be more sensitive towards the north.
“Seventy years of secondary education has improved human quality, equipped beneficiaries with much knowledge and skills which in turn have improved the ability to analyse, appreciate, assimilate, socialise with others as well as opened better avenues for employment. Ultimately, these have helped to minimise poverty.”
The establishment of TAMASCO in 1951, then Government Secondary School, created the opportunity for students of northern Ghana to, for the first time, access secondary education, 75 years after secondary education was introduced in southern Ghana.
Dr Bawumia said this created access for people living in and around areas such as the upper part of the then Brong Ahafo Region, the northern part of the Volta Region, now Oti Region, the Northern Region which now includes the newly created Savanna and North East regions, and the Upper Region, now Upper East and Upper West Regions.
Seventy years later, he said, Tamale Secondary School, known as “the Northern Light” has produced several important personalities such as a President of the Republic, two Vice Presidents, two Supreme Court Justices, an Inspector General of Police (IGP), two Chiefs of Defence Staff (CDS), as well as a Speaker of Parliament.
In a related development, Dr Bawumia commissioned a 400 bed Girls’ dormitory constructed by the MTN Foundation and a Boys’ dormitory constructed by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) at the Tamale Senior High School.
The school authority has named a Dormitory after Vice President Bawumia in recognition of his immense and continues support to the school.
Rex Mainnoo Yeboah, ISD